Beinecke Library

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The Mirror of Liberty was the first magazine owned and edited by an African American. This issue from July 1841 contains a report of a meeting in New Bedford, MA, led by David Ruggles and Frederick Douglass.

Manuscript fair copy, of dated entries recounting the departure from Liverpool, the shipwreck on the Barbary Coast, the crew’s enslavement in northern Africa, and their return to Dartmouth. Many entries concern the work done, foods, illnesses and injuries, and racial and religious differences encountered. The manuscript dates from about 1790.

The Beinecke Library holds numerous books and pamphlets related to slavery and abolition, some of which were owned and annotated by prominent abolitionists. These include two books on the Somerset case (1772), concerning the legality of slavery in England, with extensive marginal annotations by Granville Sharp.

Manuscript of a detailed description of the geography, population, economy, government, and social organization of Jamaica by John Dalling, who was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the colony in 1767. Topics include agriculture, the sugar trade and the mechanics of a typical sugar plantation, slavery and slave customs, and relations between the races.

A small porcelain jar decorated with two scenes from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Both scenes are variations on illustrations by Hammatt Billings that appeared in the illustrated edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published in Boston by John P. Jewett and Company in 1853. Other artifacts relating to the novel include aporcelain statuette and Staffordshire child’s plate.

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